Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
The nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, is an established model system to explore the ways simple nervous systems detect and direct organismal responses to environmental changes. C. elegans possesses specialized receptor cells for the detection of a variety of environmental stimuli. Separate cell types respond to volatile chemical and thermal stimuli and the neural pathways for these show anatomical evidence of convergence. This work reports findings from behavioral assays during simultaneous exposure of nematodes to both thermal differences and attractant volatile chemicals. Combined exposure to benzaldehyde and cold neutralized the behavioral responses to both stimuli in 24°C acclimated worms. Diacetyl and mild thermal stimulation produced the same effect with 16°C acclimated worms. Benzaldehyde appears to interfere with thermophilic circuitry while diacetyl acts similarly with cryophilic circuitry.
Georgia Journal of Science
Davis, B.O. Jr, VanBrackle, L., & Pittard, D. (2002). Behavioral evidence for chemosensory and thermosensory pathway convergence in the Caenorhabditis elegans nervous system. Georgia Journal of Science, 60(2), 103-115